Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Where Do You Spend Your Time?

I find that that things fall into one of 4 categories. We tend to be doing the important and urgent things. If you don't make time for the Important and not urgent things they become issues. One of the most common important/not urgent subject that is neglected is health.

There will always be something in Quadrant I if we don't allocate time to doing the things in Quadrant II. I think that if we have this time set aside it would allow us to grow more strongly as a company because we are mentally clear with out all the "things we need to do."

Getting Things Done (GTD)

Going through the "stuff" you need to do in a day can be very time consuming. Having to touch the same item more than once before it has an actionable step can be very time consuming. Using the "Getting Things Done" method of processing does cut down on the time wasted touching an item more than once. This method come from the book "Getting things done" by David Allen; get the book on amazon.
So many of us have many projects and because of this it can be very difficult creating a flow of information and knowing what you should be doing at any given moment. This has been modified slightly for more specific description of projects.


In the first step we need to collect all the things in the area we are addressing. Put everything in one pile, everything except furniture (art is not furniture). This includes pieces of paper that you have a note on, printed emails, printed anything for that matter. Have a stack of paper to write down big items that can not be moved. Each sheet should have only one item. I recommend separating electronic life from the tangible world for this section. They have become very interconnected in our lives so I know this will be difficult for some. After everything has been gathered in a pile. Go through it one piece at a time, and don't start creating multiple piles.


The next step will be processing. All the items that have been collected in the previous step will be processed here.


After you have processed an item, you will need to organize it in one of these ways.
Trash - There is no value to keeping information that is useless. Keeping trash only adds to the clutter in our lives. Throw away anything that is not actionable or has no reference value.
Reference - A lot of the stuff that you collect will go into the reference pile. This includes paid bills, URL bookmarks, old tax returns, important papers, emails, project notes, journals, textbooks, etc.
Someday - This is where you put items that you are not sure you ever want to do, but maybe someday you'll think about them again.
Project Planning - When you have an item that needs to be broken down into its constituent actionable steps, you are in the "Project Planning" stage.
Waiting - When you have delegated a task to someone else, it goes into your "waiting" pile. Action can not proceed until someone else finishes their part.
Calendar - Any task that must be completed by or on a certain date can be given a due-date and time.
2 Minute List - When an item is going to take more than 2 minutes it goes to this list. This is the list that will be done next as time allows.

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